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Audit of Emergency Management

Internal Audit

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) internal audit is an independent, objective assurance and consulting function designed to add value and improve the Agency's operations. It helps the CFIA accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.

Internal audit engagements are authorized as part of the CFIA's risk-based audit plan, which is updated at least annually for approval by the President. Internal audits are carried out in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Internal Audit and the Institute of Internal Auditors' International Professional Practices Framework. Final internal audit reports are approved by the President on the recommendation of the CFIA audit committee.


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is responsible for the management of mandate-specific emergencies, that is, emergencies related directly to its mandate in Canada (food safety, animal or plant health). Within each of the agency's 3 business lines, events can escalate to emergencies with direct impacts on human and financial resources.

Planning for and responding appropriately to emergencies are key agency responsibilities. As such, robust emergency management in relation to the agency's mandate is critical to maintain its credibility and to minimize negative impacts on Canadians and the Canadian economy associated with a food, animal or plant related emergency. Since 2014, the CFIA has responded to a number of animal health-related emergencies as a result of Avian Influenza, Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis and Bovine Tuberculosis.

The objective of the audit was to assess whether the management control framework for CFIA mandate-specific emergency management is designed adequately and operating effectively. The audit covered the period April 2016 to October 2017.

Key Findings

The audit noted that the CFIA's responses to mandate-specific emergencies are based on the Incident Command System, an internationally recognized standard system and best practice for emergency management. Nonetheless, improvements are required with respect to emergency management governance, roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities; preparedness through training and exercises; and the capability improvement process.

Complete Report

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